Telly and head-noise


A long day today. Pleasant. But long.

All those studios around the edge of the Westway… They were surely originally part of the BBC White City massive. Then, when Grenfell burnt just over five years ago, some of them were used to help temporarily house people who’d survived. The BBC no longer runs these studios.

It was much more of an office, above a studio. The tellybuildings have mostly been turned into flats but this is functioning and colonised be media. Grenfell might as well have not happened. Here’s my blog from the first day of that horror show. So little has changed in this borough. The privileged and out of touch managers who I helped train through improv bullshit … They are still managing other blocks around here and they are still even more privileged and out of touch than I am.

I was having a lovely time at the telly. A spot of it just before I head off to the sunshine? Delightful. It’s all very well written and extremely clever this thing I’ve ended up being part of. It’s come out of a bit of game theatre, and I’m deeply happy to be involved because it feels like shared blood between two of my working worlds. Everything happens for a reason. These skillsets have never merged before. I just needed to wait long enough. Also how the heck did this manage to land literally just before I fly to an island in the med for a full calendar month? Another joy. Another meditation. I guess I’m just a lucky so and so.

“I’ll bring suit options for Art Department,” I messaged one of the producers last week. They didn’t tell me at the time that they ARE Art Department… That essentially I am my own Art Department… Thankfully I’ve got decent suit options and the rate is sensible even if I have to do loads of office worker style admin. That’s fine.

There’s weird behaviours, like making us all get a brand new DBS even if we have one. I got tetchy about that. Plus they are booking people’s tube fare in advance, as if that’s helpful – it’s just complicated. Either send a car or trust your actor to get there and reimburse them. The guy who turns out to literally live next door to me is expected to get the tube because it’s been prebooked for them by a pencil pusher. I’ll drive them in anyway even though I’ve been emailed saying I’m not to. It’s easier for the actor, it’s quicker, and it involves less covid-fun public transport. All said it’s a win even if it defies some silly human in the office who is burning money just to hold firm to what it says on their spreadsheet.

I’m so glad I barely ever worked in an office. All these people making work for each other. Human centipedes.

I finished a fascinating morning being part of the art. Then I went off back to Kirkaldy Testing Works. A bit of time making sense of the silly ideas we have about a show there. Wrenching and pulling and twisting and crushing. What’s your breaking point?

It all seems to be coming together. I feel totally schizophrenic, but elated. There’s a great deal more in my headspace. There are things I’m going to forget about. Friends with regular life patterns will get annoyed with me and distance themselves. ’twas ever thus, and I AM ALWAYS STILL HERE AS IF IT WAS YESTERDAY. I never count the days. Nor should you. Life is nicer if you don’t attach “should” to anything. I’ve had wine. Structure is going out the window.

But I’m tired and thinking of old wounds suddenly, and I’m writing without review. “It’s a skill to write stream of consciousness,” said Mister Hunter, as he sent me to detention with a copy of Catcher in the Rye and an A4 pad. I kind of liked Hunter even if he was buttoned up above his head. He helped me gain confidence in slapping words down like fish on a block. It’s not a skill to do this. Even if it doesn’t quite work though, hopefully we’re off it quickly enough not to care.

I like making words. Fuck, I’d have stopped forever ago in any other circumstance.

I must sleep.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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